150 MEMORIES OF MY LIFE
I began this chapter by showing how largely the Geographical Society aided me in preparing for the journey. I conclude it by showing how still more deeply I became indebted to it for its approbation. The Society awarded to me one of their two annual gold medals in 1854, " for having at his [my] own cost and in furtherance of the expressed desire of the Society, fitted out an expedition to explore the centre of South Africa, and for having so successfully conducted it through the countries of the Namaquas, the Damaras, and the Ovampo (a journey of about 1700 miles), as to enable this Society to publish a valuable memoir and map in the last volume of the Journal, relating to a country hitherto unknown ; the astronomical observations determining the latitude and longitude of places having been most accurately made by himself."
The President, Sir Roderick Murchison, in presenting the medal to me at the Anniversary Meeting (I quote from the Times), having read the above
p r;igraph iii the Report, said that Mr. Gaito» had .I d i t i I1i t (1,6111 no t hr S( )tiirl y befo ore ;ill (other A frHw
travellers, because he had fitted out the expedition at his own expense in furtherance of their expressed wishes, and had zealously accomplished that which he had so disinterestedly undertaken. Then, turning to Mr. Galton, he added : " It is now my pleasing duty to place in your hands this testimony of the approbation of the Royal Geographical Society. I am sure you will receive it, as we intend it, as the highest honour which we can possibly confer. You left a happy home to visit a country never before penetrated by a civilised being. You have acconi-